9 Proven Reasons Oversleeping Is Bad For Your Health

Thu, Feb 21, 2019


If you love having a sleep in on the weekend you may want to change your habits. The impact of oversleeping even just by a couple of hours can be detrimental to your health and wellbeing. Believe it or not, oversleeping is just as bad for you as not getting enough sleep.

Regardless of whether you only sleep for an extra hour or two, your health may suffer. Sleep research is growing in popularity. And while we frequently discuss the impact of getting too little sleep, research proves that an excessive amount of sleep is pretty bad. The impact of oversleeping slows your brain, body and your mind. Because of this, we're investigating the impact of oversleeping and what you can do about it.


So what is oversleeping anyway?

The National Sleep Foundation advises adults over 26 years of age ought to sleep seven to nine hours consistently. However, everybody is unique. While a number of studies recommend seven hours, you may find you require nine hours to feel on top of your game. At the end of the day, as long as you’re sleeping reliably for seven, eight or nine hours every night, you're in good shape. However, more than 10 hours sleep is considered oversleeping.

If you sleep for more than 10 hours a night, or you know someone who does, this next section is a must-read. It’s really important to understand the impact of oversleeping on your health and wellbeing. And to take action.

Here are 9 health issues proven to be associated with oversleeping.

1. Weight Gain

Ok, no surprises here. Weight gain is consistently linked to sleep. And it’s usually a major indicator that you have a sleep disorder.

A study of twins demonstrates a connection between BMI (weight mass) and long stretches of sleep. The outcome shows that twins who sleep somewhere in the range of seven and nine hours every night have a lower BMI than those who frequently sleep more every night.

In fact, the lead author of the research outcomes, Nathaniel Watson, MD, co-chief at the University of Washington Sleep Institute, in Seattle, states that sleep duration significantly affects weight and BMI.

Plus, sleeping for over nine hours per night, and sitting for too long during the day is a dangerous combination for weight gain. Especially if you don’t exercise. The 45 and Up Study, Australia's biggest study, demonstrates the connection between the impacts of oversleeping and wellbeing. The University of Sydney analysed the health of in excess of 230,000 people with a focus on the wellbeing of our population as we age. They found if you oversleep, sit too much and aren't physically active enough, you are more than four times as likely to die early compared to healthy people.


2. Decrease in Fertility

We know there is a connection between fertility and not getting enough sleep. However, what you probably won't know is that oversleeping may also affect your pregnancy result. A group of analysts investigated the sleep habits of in excess of 650 ladies undergoing IVF. In general, pregnancy rates were higher in the average sleepers than in ladies who slept for more than nine hours each night.


3. Type 2 Diabetes

The impact of oversleeping is also connected to diabetes and glucose tolerance. Confirmation of this connection is in a research report in Sleep Medicine. Analysts at Université Laval's Faculty of Medicine found that if you sleep excessively you are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance. What's more, the risk is 2.5 times higher if you sleep more than eight hours per night.

Not only that but according to another investigation in the journal BMC Public Health, over ten hours of sleep every day is related to metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that regularly happen together. They put you at greater risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease.


4. Heart Disease 

The connection between oversleeping and heart health is often proven in studies. Indeed, a new investigation even cautions that oversleeping may prompt premature death.
The study, in the journal of the American Heart Foundation, finds that if you regularly sleep for ten hours you are 30% more prone to die prematurely than if you sleep for eight. Sleeping for ten hours or longer is connected to a 56% increase in the risk of death by stroke and a 49% increase in the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. The AHA research looks at information from 74 studies including more than three million individuals.


5. Physical Pain

If you experience headaches, sleeping in on the weekend may be to blame. Specialists advise this is because of the impacts of oversleeping on specific synapses in the brain, including serotonin. If you sleep excessively in the day and disturb your evening rest you may end up in pain from headaches the next day.

But it’s not just headaches that result from oversleeping. If you experience physical pain, the impact of oversleeping may exacerbate it. Back pain, specifically, may increase from spending too much time in bed. Consider when you sleep or sit in one position for a really long time. You may feel stiff or endure pain when you stand up and move. Oversleeping can make your existing pain surprisingly worse.


6. Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation is your body's way of battling harmful things to mend itself. These include diseases, wounds, poisons and infections. And chronic inflammation is inflammation that goes on for months or even years.

While sleep enables your body to recuperate, sleeping excessively may have the opposite effect. A study in the journal Sleep demonstrates that sleep length changes your levels of cytokines. Cytokines are essential in controlling inflammation.

They are little proteins discharged by your cells. Each extra hour of sleep results in an eight per cent increment in C-responsive protein (CRP) levels. Furthermore, a seven per cent increment in interleukin-6 (IL-6), which are two inflammatory arbiters.

Another study in Biological Psychiatry reports that long sleep length expands markers of inflammation. “It is important to highlight that both too much and too little sleep appears to be associated with inflammation, a process that contributes to depression as well as many medical illnesses," says Dr John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry.

If you experience the ill effects of chronic inflammation, sound sleep habits may have a positive effect. Chat with your specialist about managing oversleeping.


7. Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Oversleeping has also been demonstrated to be an indicator of Alzheimer's Disease and dementia. An investigation led by analysts at the Boston University School of Medicine discovers adults who sleep longer than nine hours consistently, will probably build up all-cause dementia and clinical Alzheimer's disease.

Critically, the research finds that long sleep periods might be a marker of early neurodegeneration. More or less, oversleeping is a sign you're at a higher risk of advancing to clinical dementia within 10 years. Which means your doctor may have the capacity to recognize Alzheimer's Disease or dementia before memory loss even begins.

If you feel tired constantly and sleep for more than seven to nine hours every night, chat with your specialist about the reason for your oversleeping.


8. Depression and Anxiety

Oversleeping is a critical indicator of mental health issues or depression. While a great many people with depression or mental health issues experience the ill effects of insomnia, 15% sleep excessively. For some, oversleeping is a way of dealing with stress. What's more, treating a sleep disorder is often the main strategy for people experiencing mental illness or depression.


9. Cognitive Performance

Cognitive performance is all the actions that your brain undertakes to process what is happening around you. This includes your capacity to focus, handling speed, learning, speech fluency, and memory. You know that feeling when you’ve woken up after a long sleep and feel groggy? That’s what impaired cognitive function feels like.

A recent report put the hypothesis of the impacts of oversleeping and cognitive capacity to the test. The research group is from the University College London Medical School Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. They gathered information on 5,431 people aged 35 to 55. The outcomes, in the journal Sleep, find that somewhere in the range of seven and eight per cent of individuals who sleep more than six to eight hours a night score worse on memory, thinking, and vocabulary tests than the individuals who slept less.

Oversleeping can influence your everyday memory. You may not feel as sharp. Or, on the other hand, you may feel clumsy or forgetful. In fact, oversleeping may be an indicator of an underlying issue. If you believe you need over 10 hours sleep every night talk with your specialist about it.


Is There An Underlying Health Issue?

It might seem weird but some sleep disorders can cause significant disturbance to your sleep without you knowing it. So, consider the possibility that you may think you're oversleeping but you're actually not. You may think you’re getting 10 hours sleep a night, but a sleep disorder could be waking you hundreds of times during the night.

Snoring and sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed. That’s because you may wake up hundreds of times during the night from lack of oxygen and not even know it. In fact, most people discover they snore or have sleep apnea because a family member, partner or friend notices it. So if you think you’re getting too much sleep but you still suffer from daytime sleepiness take our free sleep disorder assessment and talk to your doctor.


How To Stop Oversleeping
  • Get some daylight. Sunlight enables your body to keep up its circadian rhythm. Waking up to the sun also makes a difference. So open the blinds and enjoy the morning sky.
  • Don’t nap during the day. It's so enticing to have a sleep on the weekend after a busy morning. Yet, that afternoon nap may influence what time you go to bed.
  • Eat well, drink well and work out. A healthy eating routine with limited liquor and caffeine and consistent exercise all help with maintaining good sleep habits. Your body will thank you for it.
  • Get rid of blue light. Turn off technology especially screens at least 2 hours before your standard sleep time. Blue light influences your circadian rhythm and affects your wellbeing. Read a book or play a board game.
  • Try not to sleep in on weekends. We know, it's enticing to sleep in or stay up late. But if you stick to your regular sleep and waking cycle your health and wellbeing will be better off.

If you’re still struggling with sleep it’s really important to speak to a professional about it. Sleep disorders are serious and most are very easy to treat. Call us today on 1300 246 637 or submit the contact form below for a free no-obligation chat with one of our friendly Sleep Therapists. Contact us now.


  • Andrew J. Westwood, Alexa Beiser, Nikita Jain, Jayandra J. Himali, Charles DeCarli, Sanford H. Auerbach, Matthew P. Pase, Sudha Seshadri, “Prolonged sleep duration as a marker of early neurodegeneration predicting incident dementia”, Neurology, Feb 2017.

  • University of Warwick. "Lack Of Sleep Doubles Risk Of Death, But So Can Too Much Sleep." ScienceDaily, 24 September 2007.
  • Claire E. Kim, Sangah Shin, Hwi-Won Lee, Jiyeon Lim, Jong-koo Lee, Aesun Shin, Daehee Kang. “Association between sleep duration and metabolic syndrome: a cross-sectional study.” BMC Public Health, 2018; 18 (1).
  • Université Laval. "Too Much Or Too Little Sleep Increases Risk Of Diabetes." ScienceDaily, 23 April 2009.
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